Video: Osama speaking. Or is he?

30 January, 2010 —

An audio tape has been released allegedly from Al Qaeda’s leader Osama bin Laden. It’s the second in just a week.

In the broadcast he blames global warming on the United States and other developed countries.

He also calls on the world to abandon it’s reliance on the U.S. dollar.

But RT contributor and investigative journalist Wayne Madsen says the tape is most probably a fake.

“The tape is a little bit suspicious like some of the other tapes we’ve heard,” said Madsen. “The voice speaks in a monotone, sounds like the voice is reading from a pre-prepared script. We know there’s a morphing technology available commercially that can make me sound like John Wayne. Most people in the intelligence community I’m talking to had the same reaction – this is fake.”

more about “Video: Osama speaking. Or is he?“, posted with vodpod

Haiti Newslinks 29-30 January, 2010

30 January, 2010

Haiti Moves, Haltingly, to Reopen Schools
Wall Street Journal
PORT-AU-PRINCE—Haiti will reopen some of the country’s schools Monday for the first time since the Jan. 12 earthquake, but few are in the capital or other …

Performers Plan More Efforts for Haiti
New York Times
Entertainment personalities are continuing their efforts to raise awareness and money for the earthquake relief effort in Haiti. On Thursday, BET Networks …

Cost Dispute Halts Airlift of Injured Haiti Quake Victims
New York Times
By SHAILA DEWAN MIAMI — The United States has suspended its medical evacuations of critically injured Haitian earthquake victims until a dispute over who …

UN Group Urges $700 Million Investment in Haitian Agriculture
29 (Bloomberg) — An investment plan to restore Haiti’s agriculture industry and secure food production will require $700 million in international aid, …

Continue reading

Housmans Radical Books, London: February 2010 Events Newsletter

29 January, 2010 — Housmans Books

1. Office space to rent below Housmans
2. Guest book recommendations
3: Housmans blog

4. War Resisters’ International present: ‘Antimilitarism In Latin America’
5. ‘Possibilities for the Post-Capitalist Era’ with Harry Shutt
6. ‘This Room in the Sunlight’ with Bernard Kops:
7. Last Hours Collective present: ‘Excessive Force – policing in Britain’
8. No Sweat Forum – Haiti Earthquake
9. ‘Inside Quatro: Uncovering the Exile History of the ANC and SWAPO’ with Paul Trewhela
10. Future events

11. Harry Shutt Picks Five

Continue reading

The US game in Latin America By Mark Weisbrot

29 January, 2010 — Comment is free –

US interference in the politics of Haiti and Honduras is only the latest example of its long-term manipulations in Latin America

When I write about US foreign policy in places such as Haiti or Honduras, I often get responses from people who find it difficult to believe that the US government would care enough about these countries to try and control or topple their governments. These are small, poor countries with little in the way of resources or markets. Why should Washington policymakers care who runs them?

Unfortunately they do care. A lot. They care enough about Haiti to have overthrown the elected president Jean-Bertrand Aristide not once, but twice. The first time, in 1991, it was done covertly. We only found out after the fact that the people who led the coup were paid by the US Central Intelligence Agency. And then Emmanuel Constant, the leader of the most notorious death squad there – which killed thousands of Aristide’s supporters after the coup – told CBS News that he, too, was funded by the CIA.

In 2004, the US involvement in the coup was much more open. Washington led a cut-off of almost all international aid for four years, making the government’s collapse inevitable. As the New York Times reported, while the US state department was telling Aristide that he had to reach an agreement with the political opposition (funded with millions of US taxpayers’ dollars), the International Republican Institute was telling the opposition not to settle.

Continue reading

Statement on Haiti adoptions from Adoptees of Color

25 January, 2010 — Adoptees of Color

This statement reflects the position of an international community of adoptees of color who wish to pose a critical intervention in the discourse and actions affecting the child victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. We are domestic and international adoptees with many years of research and both personal and professional experience in adoption studies and activism. We are a community of scholars, activists, professors, artists, lawyers, social workers and health care workers who speak with the knowledge that North Americans and Europeans are lining up to adopt the “orphaned children” of the Haitian earthquake, and who feel compelled to voice our opinion about what it means to be “saved” or “rescued” through adoption.

We understand that in a time of crisis there is a tendency to want to act quickly to support those considered the most vulnerable and directly affected, including children. However, we urge caution in determining how best to help. We have arrived at a time when the licenses of adoption agencies in various countries are being reviewed for the widespread practice of misrepresenting the social histories of children. There is evidence of the production of documents stating that a child is “available for adoption” based on a legal “paper” and not literal orphaning as seen in recent cases of intercountry adoption of children from Malawi, Guatemala, South Korea and China. We bear testimony to the ways in which the intercountry adoption industry has profited from and reinforced neo-liberal structural adjustment policies, aid dependency, population control policies, unsustainable development, corruption, and child trafficking.

For more than fifty years “orphaned children” have been shipped from areas of war, natural disasters, and poverty to supposedly better lives in Europe and North America. Our adoptions from Vietnam, South Korea, Guatemala and many other countries are no different from what is happening to the children of Haiti today. Like us, these “disaster orphans” will grow into adulthood and begin to grasp the magnitude of the abuse, fraud, negligence, suffering, and deprivation of human rights involved in their displacements.

Continue reading

Jewish National Fund eBook Vol 1, First online edition

29 January, 2010

This is a comprehensive ‘eBook’ on the Jewish National Fund, which plays an important part in the development of Israel, but on the back of expropriating Palestinian Land. I have written the article “Exclusive Plans” about the link between the JNF and Israeli architecture and planning.

This eBook is now downloadable from

Please feel free to distribute widely and publish on your websites. This edition will be deposited with the ISSN office at the British library.

There is a call for submission of papers to volume 2 (edited by Uri Davis) on the final page.


1. Introduction by Ilan Pappe … 3
2. Exclusive Plans by Abe Hayeem … 10
3. The British Park by Uri Davis … 18
4. Patron Brown by Susannah Tarbush … 27
5. The Honourable Australian PM by Sonja Karkar … 30
6. Kings Forests in Galilee by Ben White … 33
7. South American Connection by Rahela Mizrahi … 37
8. Closing Remarks by Bob Williamson and John Goss … 42
Acknowledgements … 74
Publication Details … 75

Haiti Newslinks 28-29 January, 2010

29 January, 2010

Venezuela Sends Needed Gasoline and Diesel to Haiti
By editor
Shipment for Generation of Electricity and Vehicles Will Arrive Thursday In response to severe gasoline shortages that have plagued Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck the island nation on January 12…

A Glance at Haiti Developments 16 Days After Quake
New York Times
The aid group Doctors Without Borders says the psychological impact of Haiti’s earthquake on its victims is becoming more apparent. …

Hope For Haiti Now Album Raises More Than $3 Million In Relief Funds
Now, it seems that music fans are finding a channel for their own good will toward Haiti, as iTunes and some of the world’s top artists are setting records …

Tourism group criticizes Royal Caribbean for resuming cruise calls in Haiti
USA Today
A leading advocacy group for sustainable tourism is blasting Royal Caribbean for its decision to resume cruises to Haiti. The Center for Responsible Travel …

Continue reading

The London Conference on Afghanistan: Rebranding an Unpopular War Derrick O’Keefe

28 January, 2010 — The B u l l e t – Socialist Project • E-Bulletin No. 300

Lawrence Cannon, Canada’s foreign minister, is on his way to London for a major international conference on the future of Afghanistan, January 28. Hilary Clinton and other high level representatives from the NATO countries will be present, as will embattled Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

One wonders if this major global media focus on Afghanistan was part of the Harper government’s calculation in proroguing Parliament. The torture and abuse of Afghan detainees is also an issue in several European countries, and so the less riled up the Canadian press corps is from any fresh revelations back home, the better.

The agenda of the London gathering has recently been expanded to include a special session on Yemen. This in itself ironically exposes the illogic with which the expansion of the war in Afghanistan has been sold to the western public.

After all, Obama’s announcement of an additional 30,000 troops to the occupation of Afghanistan was explained with the rationale that it was vital for national security. Without a ramping up of the war, the world was told, a “safe haven” for terrorists might emerge. ‘Fight them over there or you will have to fight them over here.’ And yet Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the thwarted, Nigerian-born “underwear” bomber is said to have links to Yemen, so we must fight them there as well.

The “deny Al-Qaeda a safe heaven” justification opens up nearly infinite new potential fronts in the global “war on terror,” a term that has been dropped from White House press releases while its aggressive and counter-productive mentality remains in place.

On Afghanistan, the London conference is not the first of its kind, and likely won’t be the last. Its real raison d’être is to help rebrand the Afghan War, which remains unpopular in the majority of NATO countries. As Robin Beste of the UK Stop the War Coalition argues, “It’s a makeover aimed at turning the tide of public opinion, running so strongly against a war which is clearly futile and unwinnable. In reality the warmongers are gathering for a war council masquerading as a peace conference.”

Continue reading

Statewatch News Online – 28 January 2010

28 January 2010 —

Support Statewatch’s work: Join Friends of Statewatch:

1.    EU: The Schengen Information System (SIS) has “over half a million terminals”
2.    EU: Draft Council Decision the surveillance of the sea external borders
3.    EU: Readmission Agreements: Overview
4.    UK: Supreme Court quashes law: UN Security Council Resolutions and the UN ‘terrorism list’
5.    EU-USA: Pressure on the European Parliament to “fast-track” the EU-USA SWIFT agreement
Continue reading

Carleton University (Canada) Student Group Launches Israel Divestment Drive (Statement)

28 January, 2010

The divestment report urging Carleton University to divest from companies implicated in Israel’s occupation and grave violations of human rights is a true gem for the BDS movement. The research, argumentation, corroboration and writing style are impeccable and deeply impressive.

In making the case for divestment from Israel, the SAIA report combines the best of both worlds: the commitment to truth and justice of the most sincere and far-sighted human rights defenders and the piercing logic of the most able lawyers.

SAIA’s time-honored commitment to just peace and international law, distinguished professionalism and creativity are truly inspiring. They build on the wonderful, pioneering divestment victory at Hampshire College last year to take divestment to the next level. This makes a superb model for the mushrooming divestment campaigns around the world.


Omar Barghouti Founding Member, PACBI

Watch the video

PS: A divestment campaign at a fairly large US university (cannot disclose the name yet until the student leaders are ready) will soon be announced! Coming only months after Hampshire College’s divestment, this is the most compelling evidence yet that BDS is taking root in the US, where it matters MOST.

Continue reading

Haiti Newslinks 27-28 January, 2010

28 January, 2010

Venezuela Steps Up Aid Effort to Haiti, Questions U.S. Military …
Kiraz Janicke – Venezuelanalysis.comCaracas, January 20th, 2009 ( – Venezuela has stepped up its aid effort to Haiti as a second …

A day in the life of a Haiti tent city
Los Angeles Times
By Mitchell Landsberg Reporting from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti – Morning arrives with the melody of the Haitian streets. A rooster crows, and two street …,0,1004620.storylink

Scientology efforts in Haiti raise questions for some
Newsday (subscription)
But his piloting of his own Boeing 707 to bring relief supplies to Haiti this week is focusing attention on the Church of Scientology, to which he and other …

Adopting a child from Haiti a ‘battle of endurance’
Deseret News
By Elizabeth Stuart The floor was shaking, the walls were crumbling and the babies at Ruuska Village Orphanage in Haiti were bouncing out of their cribs. …

Stars Banding Together to Record New “We Are the World” for Haiti
E! Online (blog)
Jones confirmed to me today that he’s helping spearhead a new recording of the charity song with the proceeds going to help Haiti. The new version will be …

Continue reading

The Destabilization of Haiti: Anatomy of a Military Coup d’Etat By Michel Chossudovsky

27 January, 2010 — Global Research – February 29, 2004

“Washington seeks to reinstate Haiti as a full-fledged US colony, with all the appearances of a functioning democracy. The objective is to impose a puppet regime in Port-au-Prince and establish a permanent US military presence in Haiti.

“The US Administration ultimately seeks to militarize the Caribbean basin.

“The island of Hispaniola is a gateway to the Caribbean basin, strategically located between Cuba to the North West and Venezuela to the South. The militarization of the island, with the establishment of US military bases, is not only intended to put political pressure on Cuba and Venezuela, it is also geared towards the protection of the multibillion dollar narcotics transshipment trade through Haiti, from production sites in Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.” — (Michel Chossudovsky, The Destabilization of Haiti, Global Research, February 28, 2004)

Author’s Preface

This article was written almost six years ago in the last days of February 2004. It was published on February 29th, 2004, on the same day as the US sponsored coup d’Etat, which led to the kidnapping and deportation of the country’s elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The coup d’Etat had been prepared will in advance. Following consultations behind closed doors in Ottawa in January 2003, the US, with the support of France and Canada took the necessary steps to carry out a Coup d’Etat and forcefully abduct President Aristide.

Barely two weeks following the February 2004 coup d’Etat, a puppet regime was installed by the “international community”. In April 2004, a contingent of over 8000 UN ”peace-keeping” forces under Brazilian command entered Haiti.

Haiti has been under foreign military occupation for the last six years. In this context, the January 2010 earthquake has provided Washington with a justification to bring in an additonal 10,000 foreign forces into the country. This influx of US combat troops into Haiti reinforces MINUSTAH’s “peacekeeping” contingent bringing total occupation forces to more than 20,000.

This article largely focusses on the history of the 2004 US led coup d’Etat, including its preparations. It also outlines the process of economic destabilization under the helm of the IMF and the World Bank which played a key role in the events leading up to the military coup.

Continue reading

Haiti Newslinks 26-27 January, 2010

27 January, 2010

Interview: David Wilson
An immigrant rights activist who was in Haiti when the earthquake hit describes how U.S. and IMF policies contributed to the suffering.

Analysis: Helen Scott
The U.S. media’s coverage of the earthquake in Haiti leaves out any mention of an older disaster—the long and bloody record of U.S. intervention.

National Nurses United put out a call for volunteers, and the response was overwhelming—despite the attitude of the U.S. military.

Comment: Ashley Smith
Instead of rushing food, water and rescue teams to help the victims of Haiti’s earthquake, the Obama administration has organized an occupation.

Analysis: Rachel Cohen and Alan Maass
A ring of U.S. warships on patrol off Haiti’s coast to stop desperate people from trying to flee is a stark symbol of Washington’s attitude toward refugees.

Continue reading

Haitian police shoot scavengers indiscriminately

25 January, 2010 — AFP

Port-Au-Prince (AFP) — Haitian police on Monday shot indiscriminately at scavengers and looters in Port-au-Prince, hitting two in the head as post-quake security deteriorated, an AFP photographer reported.

A group of police, pushed to keep control among a desperate population after the January 12 tremor which killed or injured many of their number and destroyed the city prison, opened fire on a warehouse from a building opposite.

An AFP photographer inside the scavengers’ building said two men were hit in the head, one of whom received medical attention. Two others were lying prone on the floor, one lifeless. The other was treated for a serious head wound.

A Haitian man in the street outside said he saw police pistol whip a man.

‘This guy was trying to go inside (the warehouse), the cops took a gun straight to the back of the head. I don’t know why they do that. It’s not fair because everyone in Haiti is hungry,’ the man, who declined to give his name, said.

Looters and scavengers have moved into the downtown commercial district, taking what they can from the ruins as bulldozers demolished damaged shops and warehouses.

The Haitian government has said the death toll from the January 12 quake, which shattered what little infrastructure existed in the capital and left a million people homeless, is expected to be around 150,000.

Continue reading

Joe Bageant interviewed by Ian Masters, KPFK

27 January, 2010 — Joe Bageant

On Sunday, Jan 24, I was a guest on Ian Masters’ Background Briefing radio show, KPFK, Los Angeles. Ian’s show is noted for its hard authoritative analysis by America’s leading political pundits and experts. Being neither, naturally I shotgunned my way through the interview as best I could. Listeners did not seem to mind. It’s downloadable as an MP3 file at

Joe Bageant Interview

The segment runs from 18:30 to 38:30 on the little slider do-jiggy on the media player.

— Joe Bageant


26 January, 2010

Negotiations between the police and Stop the War broke down today when it became clear that the government is trying to hide our legitimate peaceful protest from Tony Blair when he gives evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry on Friday.

After days in which we were told by the police that they would try to facilitate our protest, Stop the War has been told we will not be allowed to protest on the grass outside the QEII Conference Centre.

This is a denial of our democratic rights and Stop the War will now call for the widest possible mobilisation, not just to express the majority view in this country that Tony Blair should be held to account for war crimes, but in defence of the right to protest.

Why should the public be denied the right to peaceful protest, particularly when the latest evidence given to the Chilcot Committee shows beyond doubt that Tony Blair knew he was taking Britain into an illegal war, and that he doctored legal advice to deceive his Cabinet, Parliament and the British public.

Stop the War is calling on all its supporters, local groups and affiliated organisations to mobilise the widest possible support for the Blair protest on Friday.

We urge everyone who can to join the demonstration at the QEII Conference Centre from 8am. Full details for the planned events are here:

Spread the word as widely as you can among your family, friends, work colleagues, fellow students etc, etc


Friday 29 January from 8.00am onwards
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre
Broad Sanctuary, London, SW1P 3EE
Nearest tube: Westminster
Tel: 020 7801 2768

Haiti’s elite hold nation’s future in their hands By Tracy Wilkinson

21 January, 2010 — LA Times

A few businessmen like Gregory Mevs will decide how — or whether — Haiti recovers from one of the worst natural catastrophes in modern times.

Reporting from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti — Gregory Mevs leaped from his armored silver Toyota SUV and marched past the guards and mango trees into what serves these days as the center of the Haitian government.

He was ready to dispense a million gallons of fuel to the earthquake-ravaged capital. But the paperwork was not in order. He needed the Haitian prime minister’s signature.

Ten minutes later, he had it.

Mevs can do that. He has the prime minister’s ear. He hobnobs with people like Bill Clinton, George Soros and the chief executives of the world’s largest corporations. He is one of Haiti’s storied elite, a member of one of the six families that control the Haitian economy and have essentially called the shots here for generations.

They are mostly light-skinned, multilingual entrepreneurs with a dismal reputation for profiting handsomely on the backs of the poorest people in the hemisphere. The actions they take now will prove decisive in how — or whether — Haiti recovers from one of the deadliest natural catastrophes in modern times.

Continue reading

Venezuela Cancels Haiti’s Oil Debt

26 January, 2010 — Climate and CapitalismLatin American Herald Tribune

Once again, the Bolivarian Republic sets an example for the world …

CARACAS – President Hugo Chavez announced Monday that he would write off the undisclosed sum Haiti owes Venezuela for oil as part of the ALBA bloc’s plans to help the impoverished Caribbean nation after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake.

‘Haiti has no debt with Venezuela, just the opposite: Venezuela has a historical debt with that nation, with that people for whom we feel not pity but rather admiration, and we share their faith, their hope,’ Chavez said after the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, or ALBA.

He also announced that ALBA has decided on a comprehensive plan that includes an immediate donation of $20 million to Haiti’s health sector, and a fund that, Chavez said, will be at least $100 million ‘for starters.’

Oil-rich Venezuela is the economic heart of ALBA, which also includes Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Haiti is among several countries that send observers to ALBA meetings.

Chavez said one part of ALBA assistance to Haiti would consist of fuel distribution via ‘mobile service stations’ set to be up and running within a few weeks.

The ALBA plan of aid for Haiti includes support for such sectors as agriculture, production, food imports and distribution, and immigration amnesty for Haitians living illegally in the bloc’s member-states.

Cuba and Venezuela sent assistance and aid workers to Haiti within days of the magnitude-7.0 temblor that left an estimated 200,000 dead and 1.5 million people homeless.

The leftist Venezuelan leader also noted that there are some celebrities who want to work with ALBA, among whom he named actor Sean Penn, who, he said, called him because the members of a team of U.S. doctors now in Haiti want to ‘coordinate’ their activities.